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Posts Tagged ‘congress’

This is rather toothless in terms of action.  Reeks planning to pour oil into an engine with a cracked block every time you fill up.

While President Obama is focused on getting money to friendly-ish Syrian rebels, Congress is increasingly demanding he take more steps to stop militant fighters from coming to the U.S. by stripping Americans of their passports if they join the fight and by suspending countries that have large contingents of foreign fighters from the Visa Waiver Program.

What about stopping the porous borders?  Perhaps opting for security takes a back seat to ensuring an easy voting bloc.  That’s sad.
But counterterrorism officials say they are far more concerned that an ISIS militant will enter the United States the same way millions of people do each year: legally, on a commercial flight. Their efforts have focused on the more than 2,000 Europeans and 100 Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside extremist groups, nearly all of them crossing over its unprotected borders. Without markings in their passports to show that they traveled to Syria, American border authorities have few ways of determining where they were and stopping them from entering the country.
And if they come here across the Mexican border authorities will have nearly 100% certainty of checking those visas to see if terrorists went to Syria.  Good call, guys.  Good call.

That’s all I can write, this whole scenario is making me nauseous.

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Temporary Post

This was to be a placeholder post until tonight when I posted something real.  But it’ll have to be real enough.  Suddenly a huge storm blew up and is headed for us and I’m shutting my computer down very soon, so have a good evening…

 

As congress-critters sit and bitch to their bosses (us) about how the other side is causing all the trouble it becomes ever more obvious that even still none of them are interested in fixing the problem.

They are all still far more interested in who maintains power as of the next election than they are about enacting something that is binding and rooted in reality.

How do we know this?

Because they are again talking about “compromise”.  Which is a load of BS.  When a patient is dying of a gangrenous limb you do not compromise and cut right through the middle of the infection – you cut off the limb, and you take enough to be sure you got it all.   There are some issues where two viable sides don’t exist, and any decision made that doesn’t include drastic binding cuts is completely non-viable.

When you have spent yourself into a huge debt you do NOTHING to incur more.  And you cut and cut and cut until you can’t cut any more, then you cut again for good measure because the first time you probably pulled the punch.  And then you are man enough to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

We’ve been waiting for decades for elected officials to address the entitlements issue, which is what is going to strangle us.  I’m seeing precious little evidence that they believe this is the critical moment it really is.

Their behavior is similar to what you could imagine if an ENTIRE chapter of the local AA fell off the wagon at the same time.  All of them hopelessly addicted to the power and money, all of them in partial-to-total denial, and all of them on some level simultaneously pointing fingers and covering up for each other.

And I’m bothered by the press releases, too.  Both sides.

A perfect example of the unprofessional non-serious behavior is Jay Carney trying to be hip.   This isn’t NFL where you get to use lots of euphemisms and metaphors.  Americans are sick to DEATH of speech that isn’t just pure hard facts devoid of fluff and rhetoric.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected charges that Obama hadn’t revealed an actual plan to solve the debt crisis.

“We have shown a lot of leg on what we were proposing,” Carney said.

Shown a lot of leg?  Carney is essentially the president’s top communications guy and he cannot use proper english to make his point?
Time to grow up, Congress.  Stop being righteously indignant (it is the taxpayer’s turn for that) and get your sh*t together – do whatever you have to do but do it, do it responsibly (for once), and damn well do it now.

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If you voted for Obama and if you voted for a Democratic senator to your state, I’m going to clear my throat and voice something I don’t usually voice in so many words:

SCREW YOU.

I’m not at all happy with Congress’ health care bill, a vote of cloture, and a vote at 1am Monday morning.  Malkin has lots of good information posted.

I tried calling my senator’s offices.  Guess what?  Conveniently you can’t leave a message and no one is answering on a weekend.  That shouldn’t be a surprise.

What should be a surprise to some gullible people is that the president and his party – those who so passionately champion transparency, have been and are doing every thing that they can to ensure that they pass this bill in a stealthy fashion

So get ready folks!  Get ready for the ushering in of the Reid-Baucus-Dodd-Harkin amendment #2376.

I’ve left e:mails and voice mails, reminding them that they can vote as they wish but there will be a backlash this fall.  Wherever a seat is up for grabs in Congress, they ought not get too comfortable.  Those who have a little while to go yet, they should also be aware that memories for some are long.

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Ok, here is Another Rant About Our Taxes.

In the art world, money flows freely from public funds without your knowledge.  Picture states A-E.  Each state has a varying number of people that pay taxes.  Of those taxes, they go to a person or multiple people who are artists or very close to them who dole out the money.  Often their values are radically different from the taxpayers.  That money then goes to still other artists in each state (blue) who get it without the knowledge of the people in other states (unless they are art lovers themselves).

Taxing for Art - Now

Now, lets look at the “local” model, as it should be.  Note how the people really responded to the art in question.

Taxing for Art - Should Be

See the difference?  TAX money to those artists can ONLY come from within the state they live.  Now those other people in their state are the ones scrutinizing those funds and their uses.  It could be from tax money but it could also be free market.

In State A, only one person thought that was a worthwhile use of their money – maybe, and there is some accountability, shown by the question mark.

In State B, several people felt the same way.

In State C, people found that the artist in question was a pervert/pedophile and he was treated as he should have been, a pariah.

In State D, there was one person that was cautiously supportive but others didn’t care for the art and chose not to support it.

In State E, lots of people bought art directly with varying degrees of value placed on the works of art.

IT IS CAPITALISM, NOT FEDERALLY DISBURSED LARGESSE THAT SHOULD DRIVE DEMAND.

Most of us don’t care about art enough to want our taxes going to pay for something we don’t even consider art.

Why should a select group decide that art is vitally important and then run the whole show?

My values run more towards fiscal responsibility, not handouts to those who could not survive if their art was rated on it’s own merits.

Art won’t die if federal funds dry up, there will just be a whole lot less really crappy art.

As a parting shot, here are some of the funded arts in that link above…

  • $400,000 for an exhibition “exploring the importance of plants as a source of inspiration for noted American poet Emily Dickinson” [You. Must. Be.  Joking.]
  • $350,000 to explore the “cultural significance of the circus poster”  [Over a quarter million dollars to answer a question that has no answer?]
  • $725,000 to produce a two-hour documentary on the history of American whaling.  [I can look that up in the library, thanks.  Three quarters of a million dollars to make a video of a lot of old photographs.  Yeaaaaaaahhhhh.  Right.]
  • $130,000 for 16 professors to study the “truth and meaning” of life according to Aristotle [Mental masturbation.]
  • $50,000 to build a computer model of an ancient city in Pakistan complete with “animated and interactive ‘inhabitants'” [I. Don’t. Care.]

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I blogged it last night but I’m showing the Bugatti Veyron again because I can and I want to.  Clarkson, you are one lucky bastard to have driven this.

Bugatti-Veyron_2005_800x600_wallpaper_03

What a thing of beauty.  A picture is probably as close as I’ll ever get to one.  (sigh)

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Not so well known by me, though probably countless others are/were aware – that while Wall Street is held to the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and oversight designed to curb improper trading, others are not.

Guess who is not held to account for what is essentially insider trading?

Congress.

Yes, your elected officials can schmooze with lobbyists, talk behind closed doors, have private meetings with industry leaders – and then turn around and sell off their stock just before bad news goes public.

I wasn’t oblivious to the practice, I just thought that it was illegal and there was no one set up in a position to enforce laws on th e matter.

According to that source (above), insider trading is:

  • “Violation of a duty (as in the duty of fidelity of an officer to his corporation and its shareholders); or
  • Misappropriation of information that belongs to a third person (as in the information about what’s going to appear in a print journal that is ascertained [found out] because the ascertainor is an employee of that journal or of a printing company contracting with that journal).”

And you say “Uh, so what? Isn’t that obvious?”  Well, not so fast when it concerns your representative who is really out for himself with that information he gleans as he gets paid by you to do his job…

… applying those two tests to Congress reveals an important legal truth. According to my source: “Congressfolk fit in neither category. They owe no duty of fidelity to anyone (possibly excepting their constituents) and all the information they ascertain is ascertained in pursuit of their Congressional functions with no strings attached.

In other words, since people in Congress don’t have a duty to a corporation and they are getting their insider information in performing their jobs as Congress people, they can use that information without restriction.  – Peter Cohan

So while your portfolio tanked like mine, across congress the average returns were well above the average elsewhere.

Senators make significant abnormal returns, some place around 1 percent above the market, 12 percent a year.  – Alan Ziobrowski

<snip>

It’s absolutely incredible, but the Securities and Exchange Act does not apply to members of Congress, congressional staff or even lobbyists.  – Craig Holman

Why even bring it up, you might ask.  Because in spite of possible unintended consequences, I’d like to suggest this idea that came to me while great deep and profound brain things were going on inside my head:

Upon entry into congress and for a period of two years after leaving congress, all congressmen and congresswomen would surrender their stock portfolios to be administered in a double-blind fashion such that they can only direct their investments in a totally transparent third-party-scrutinized fashion.

Cashing out could only be done after a 2 week waiting period.

Fairly safe to say that Congress isn’t going to vote itself off the money island.

There’s lots of sources of information out there, but do watch out for OpenSecrets.org, which according to the IRS was a funding source for The New Democrat Network.

Here’s a good source:  Stephen Bainbridge – Insider Trading by Congressmen

On his blog he also brought up two very interesting ideas – Is Obamacare a Done Deal? and Regulating Away Financial Crises. A third entry concerns risk-taking in business – Regulating Banker Pay.  Mainly, that the Fed is interesting in curbing risk-taking behavior in the business sector, which will put the brakes on the flow of money.

(My opinion) What the people who favor more regulation fail to recognize is that a lot of practices have evolved the way they did in order to maximize two things – attractiveness to investors and increased returns.  Stifle investment practices and you’ll negatively impact the economy.

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Giant wooden dinosaur skeletons – cool.

Making a pinhole camera out of an Altoids can – even cooler.  Of course a used condom packet could be made into a pinhole camera with enough black tape, but I like it.

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And now they’re transgendering a 9 year old.  That’s too young for the age of consent for a life-altering decision.  Sorry.

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If only it were this easy.

Congressional Repellant

Nope.  Guess we’re going to have to suffer.

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CockTails

click to embiggen - and it is big

Trying to do my part to solve world hunger.  Visualizing world peas will be harder.

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I did not know this classic was on DVD.  Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.  Good to see they’re keeping quality films alive well past the normal shelf-life.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers

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Alan Colmes says we’re unpatriotic for not wanting to pay more taxes.  One of his silly arguments was that lots of European countries have higher taxes than us.

My response on the foxnews blog post where he dribbled his drivel was thusly:

Making the argument that European taxes are higher and thus validates our tax rate  is nonsensical.
This is akin to the argument that says “It is ok to beat your children!”…. “Why?”… “Well, because it could be worse… it could be like some countries that allow 8 year old girls to be married to 58 year old perverts.”
Pointing to an example that is worse than the topic at hand is not a valid argument.
Showing gratitude or patriotism have nothing to do with my willingness to pay higher taxes in the face of waste.

Another commenter had this to say in response to my comment:

Ihatehypocrisy says:

At last….common sense prevails!!! It will be interesting to see how many posters have valid counter arguments as opposed to snarky posts filled with name calling because they realize they don’t have a valid counter argument.

And Lemur King, other than your strange objection to him pointing out the tax rates for other industrialized nations, I am curious to know what valid dispute you have with the rest of the article.

His remark about common sense was in regards to Colme’s article, not my witty stuff.  Damn.  I do have to agree with that commenter on one thing – way too many comments were filled with hate and no rational counterpoints.

My dispute with the rest of Colme’s article comes under several headings.

One – Colme’s skirting the ragged edge of ad hominem… “bitter election losers, while clinging to their guns by buying them in greater numbers”   He’s got enough talent to not need to do that.  I do it because I’m a blogger and talk trash mostly out of the spotlight.  He’s bigger time than that.

Two – it ignores the 10th Amendment.  The government ought not be assuming so very many powers.  The government was set up so that we had support for commerce, military defense,  common currency, etc.  Congress has turned themselves into a body that is quite a bit more powerful than states are supposed to be.

Most power is supposed to reside in the states.  The flip side is that if the power is in the states, then the fed does not have the power to run so many federal-level offices.

Three – Federal taxation is wrong in that it turns the Federal to State tax ratio on end.  They should be swapped. If I pay the lion’s share of my taxes to my state I have control over where it goes because I and every other voter in my state know right where to find those who are doing what they are elected to do.    Move the money/taxes/power a distance away, remove access, and create a complex system (an elected aristocracy that the electorate cannot reach), and you will have pork-barrel policies and little way to influence anything.  I have no control whatsoever over anyone other than my personal representatives who will be stacked up agains representatives from entirely different states … the odds are quite high that any legislation is going to have very little to do with things that are important to me or get it right.  Face it… from Michigan, do I care if Arizona is awarded $3M to study shrimp farming?

Texas Gov. Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall — one of three tea parties he was attending across the state — that officials in Washington have abandoned the country’s founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.

(source:  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D97J48IO2.html)

Frankly, I don’t mind a 25% tax all that much – if I have some say over where it is going – in my state.  Why should my taxes go to help New Orleans, California Fires, and Flooding in the Midwest?    Texas Governor Perry has it right.

Colmes smirks:

Another argument we hear when there is talk of tax dollars being used for items like national health care, alternative energy development, or improving our public education system is that the government can’t do anything right, that it can’t run anything, that in every instance private is always better.

Social Security is the best argument for killing sweeping social programs – it can’t remain solvent and is being tapped for any and all purposes “deemed necessary” along the way.  National Healthcare is a pipe dream – a boondoggle of paperwork and red-tape  so unpersonalized and so abstract that it ceases to be about people anymore. Our public school systems are trashed  – get rid of bloated teacher’s unions and give merit-based pay.

The only place The Fed ought to be given total precedence over private is the military.  Private sector has no business being in the business of running mercenary companies.


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Update #3: Cruel Wife turns 40!  Might have been last week, but she sure the hell is 40 today.  The plan is to go get Moroccan sea bass, lamb & couscous, and perhaps a lobster bisque.

Ooops.  Wrong picture.  Happy Birthday CW!!!   Smeep.

42-17499497

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Update 2:

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Update 1: Paying Gitmo Detainees to Live on US Soil.

All this talk of shipping them off to other countries is just terrible.
hey deserve to be here, they’ve paid their dues.

Announce three days ahead of time that a train will pull through a certain area of the desert (away from any solar power farm), at GPS coordinates XXX-XXX-XXX and make one stop, letting off 240 free men.

People who would like to wish them well in their new life in the US may show up promptly at 12pm to greet them.

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This better sting like hell.

smalley_better-sting_obama

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Could someone tell me what the f*ck it is with this guy?  We gotta help the economy we gotta help the ec0nomy we gotta help the economy… and then he turns right around and shoots it in the ass with a huge silver bullet treated with cyanide.

Why not raise taxes and spending, too, while we’re at it?  Ooops.

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So finally Congress stops worrying about AIG, the economy, tax simplification, the budget, and all that silly-assed stuff and gets right to work on how college football rankings are chosen.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Everyone from President Barack Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series.The current system “leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year,” the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings.

Yep.  Gettin’ closer to the time to drain the swamp.  Yessirrrrreeeee.

Damn.  They decided to return to worry about things that they ought not worry about

The House Financial Services Committee on Thursday adopted a milder alternative to a bill passed last week that would have taxed away 90 percent of employee bonuses from companies getting federal bailout money. The new legislation would let bailed-out companies pay bonuses as long as the government determines the compensation is not “unreasonable or excessive.”

Soooo, if a particular minor player in congress later decides (while they are PMS’ey or have “little man’s syndrome”) that they want to get pissy about a particular company, they can decide that some compensation is in this case unreasonable or excessive.

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In this imperfect universe I am unable to stop thinking about AIG.  Congress and their punitive taxation.  And how many people have no idea what constitutional intents really were.  The lynch mob to take out AIG (including congress) ought to read this:

“The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.”

Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, circa 1774

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Gosh this was a fun news article. Zombies ahead!

0_61_zombies_320

Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead." - foxnews.com

Huh.  I would have thought that this would be applicable in any educational institution.  Or anywhere that Congress-Critters congregate.

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A grandmother baking cookies with her grandchildren?  Oh I think not.  Perhaps if they were animal cookies with live animals.

Pelosi, now that she has some real power has discounted the need for bipartisanship.

Note:  I can’t stand the term “bipartisanship”.  It is a politcal snipe-word used against anyone who happens to exercise their rights by having a dissenting opinion.  In this context however, she feels no need to compromise, opting to emphasis “taking” over “working together for a mutually acceptable solution”.

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In my fight against the “figures don’t lie but liars figure” I have to give the hysteria-whippers credit for being sneaky here:

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967.

(source:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Americans-receiving-jobless-apf-14193255.html)

But wait… uh… these are stacked.  Americans are getting benefits longer.  About all that steaming pile of horseapples they call statistics tells us is that odds are that people are taking longer to find jobs… and they’re getting benefits longer. Wow.  Oh wow.

It should say something that right after that nightmarish statement involving “1967” we read this:

A department analyst said that as a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment recipients is the highest since August 1983.

Oh.  So that means… what?  I could freak out and say “AAAAA!  1960-freakin-seven!!!”  or I could freak out and say “Holy Guacamole – 1983!!”.  Big whups.  I was there, folks.  1983 kind of sucked ass.  We lived.

The bigger point that should be made here is saying “since such-n-such date” tells me nothing about context.  Say for the sake of argument that the years since 1983 have had unemployment at a steady 4.77 million.  Now we see it go up to 4.78M.  What does that tell us about 1982?  Nothing other than it was bigger than 4.78M.  What if up until 1983 it was 27.3M?  It tells us nothing about context and only a little bit about relative status based on whatever key stat the hysteria-monger wishes to use to their ends.

In the end, it still serves news outlets even if I walk away confused and not really any more informed because as long as I am left with this emotional impact of “shit shit shit, things are grim”… well, they’ve done their job of informing me, haven’t they?  Now we can all feel uneasy and they can do a report about how “More Americans are uneasy than at any time since 1974 according to a People magazine poll.”

I am not downplaying anyone’s troubles because as I’ve said before – I was once out of work 8 months and I’ve been there, I understand.

What I am pointing out with zero mercy is that the imbeciles in the news media are playing a very real (and dangerous) part in demoralizing good honest people using crappy data and they are doing a damn fine job of whipping up a lot more fear than there should be from objectively looking at facts.

A statistic I’m more likely to believe because it doesn’t show something negative… Economy slows at a lower pace than expected.

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What is it with guys that give “gifts of love” (kidneys, breast implants) and want to take them back when the relationship goes sour?

Man tries to take back implants with a knife.

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Now, I am warning you. This is kind of woozly if you are squeamish (I am not, at least not about this).

I was looking for some textures that had snake scales and so I googled “snakeskin”.  This link showed up.  I have no idea what else is on that blog nor did I want to find out, so don’t blame me if there is anything unsavory there.  You’re big kids.

All the rage among those who feel that a good honest tat is just pedestrian and are wishing to take it to the next logical step.  Logical?  Did I say logical?  While this lady arguably is more drunk than I’ve ever been, has balls way bigger than me, or is a CIPA sufferer… there are truly folks walking around who get off on this.   The tone should be set if I say that this is a link to… skin carving.

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People are surpised??? C’mon, children, this is Detroit.

more later…

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Money has been handed out and no oversight panel and no report.

Now… congress is normally all over something like this, especially when it was birthed by the Bush administration and administered by the Fed.

Why are they (congress) not speaking?

Because people who live in glass houses don’t throw stones.

There is a huge amount of money that is being spent in Stealth Mode – to the tune of trillions of money that is not well publicized.

Who would remain quiet?  People who are culpable – the Banking and Finance Committees – people who have everything to gain.  To be sure, that Fed lending was not approved by congress, but neither has it been fought tooth and nail.

Take it with a grain or two of salt… Nat’l Expositor.

This whole bailout thing is the equivalent of realizing that you and your party of survivors will all have to eat portions of yourselves to survive – and pigging out.

Tired, lack of sleep (again), and crankier than a snake with shingles.   Take my gripes less than wholly seriously.

UPDATE: Obviously THIS is much more important than mere oversight.  Bush must be brought down.

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UK Sperm Bank May Need Bailout.

What?  With a massive infusion of gallons and gallons of gov’t sperm?  EW!

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Kids today are arrogant.

The study’s co-author told HealthDay news that the findings point to a “self-esteem” movement that may have gone too far.

“These kids didn’t raise themselves, they got these ideas from somewhere,” said Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

Because modern day parents hand out endless praise, kids readily believe they are somehow superior, she said.

Yep!  Because little Johnny and Suzie now know that there are no losers, that everyone is equally important, that endless do-overs are the answer, and that self-esteem is far more important than competence.

Far better to just *know* you are a superior specimen, like I do.   Erm.

Arrogance has to be earned.  Tell me what you did to earn yours.  – House

Arrogance?

my-god-her-back-is-about-to-break-tit-for-tat

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And nobody stopped this lady and said “You’re making yourself look hideous”???

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Really… how stupid do you think I am?

Jon Campbell, regional banking president for Wells Fargo & Co., told the committee his company doesn’t need the government’s investment to pay for bonuses or compensation and will not use it for that.

Ok, so they were going to pay bonuses from somewhere, right?  And if they had a cash shortage where they could not scrape it up they’d have to decide to pay bonuses or not, right?  The money all comes from the same pot.

A) Owe X amount of money (or need it)

B) I have Y amount of money which is insufficient

C) I either pay my execs an obscene amount of pay or use that money for the needs in (A)

D) Now, if I both don’t pay my execs an obscene amount of money AND I don’t take gov’t money, THEN I can claim what Campbell is claiming.  Otherwise, the money I have in my hands to pay the execs should have gone to (A).

It doesn’t matter whether you use Fed money or your own money, the execs should not be paid – you should meet your financial obligations on your own and only take such money as is required to fulfill those if you are short.  (Assuming we want to live in a Marxist state)  Exec pay should be the very least of your concerns.

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Let’s see… the death penalty for convicted murderers meeting certain criteria is reviled throughout the world, yet little or no useful hue and cry over a sentence of 15 years and 1500 lashes.

Which is more cruel?

Which is more inhumane?

Which is designed to inflict the maximum amount of suffering?

He initially was sentenced to seven years in prison and 700 lashes, but when he appealed two months ago, the judge not only upheld the conviction, but more than doubled the penalty to 15 years in prison and 1,500 lashes.

Raouf Amin el-Arabi, a doctor who has been serving the Saudi royal family for about 20 years, was convicted last year of giving a patient the wrong medication. Egyptian newspapers reported that he was accused of driving a Saudi princess “to addiction.”

source:  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,450292,00.html

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So how does this factor into “Talk Like a Pirate Day”?

Arrrrr- <BANG> – <thud>

pirates-die

Thanks to Drudge for wordin’.  Oh, and thanks to the Royal Navy for some fine shootin’.

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Ok, I *hate* it when sounds get played by my browser.  I go to websites to view information, not have unwanted crap blast itself suddenly over my speakers when all I want to do is listen to my MP3’s.  It is annoying at best, jarring most of the time, and at worst embarrassing as hell as you want to go to a home improvement site and while there, some totally revolting ad for Bulimic Sheep Lovers International plays.  At top volume.

Yes, FlashBlock is a great plugin and all but you need to click on every one that they blocked in order to see what was under the arrow. Waste of time. I want to see what it is visually but not play the sound.

Macromedia Flash may or may not give you the option to kill or mute the sound but only if each flash app was wired that way.  To rip Flash sounds out by the roots:

  1. Open FireFox installation folder. The default path is “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox”.
  2. Create an empty file in this folder with the name “msacm32.dll”. Use Notepad.
  3. Close all FireFox windows and open a web page with Flash sound to test it.
  4. If you wish to return sound back, just rename the file “msacm32.dll”

Apparently firefox looks and sees if that file is there, and if it is does not play Flash sounds.
Hope that makes someone’s day.
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FoxNews has an article about giving Wall Street Execs and underlings bonuses in a year when they hardly deserve one:

Challenger pointed to the concerted effort by Wall Street banks to sell equity to the government as an example of why all the investment banks will pay bonuses this year.  While the government forced the banks to participate in the program, the argument went that the companies that sold equity would have a black eye if all of the other Wall Street banks didn’t follow suit. That could happen with bonuses as well, said Challenger.

“If some banks give bonuses and others don’t the talent will flow to the good bank,” he said.

My question is:  WHAT GOOD BANK?  I don’t see anyone swimming in money because of any great virtue.

It gets better:

And the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, isn’t happy. “These are people who lost enormous amounts of money,” Frank observes. “How do you give a bonus to someone for having failed so badly as many of these people did?”

What about Congress for consistently without fail continuing to rake in money rather than stop stuffing their pockets and sniping at each other long enough to notice the problem.  Barney, you a$$hole$ failed everyone just as badly.

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more later…

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